dod·​der | \ ˈdä-dər How to pronounce dodder (audio) \

Definition of dodder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Cuscuta) of wiry twining vines of the morning-glory family that are highly deficient in chlorophyll, are parasitic on other plants, and have tiny scales instead of leaves


doddered; doddering\ ˈdä-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce doddering (audio) \

Definition of dodder (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to tremble or shake from weakness or age
2 : to progress feebly and unsteadily was doddering down the walk

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Other Words from dodder


dodderer \ ˈdä-​dər-​ər How to pronounce dodderer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for dodder

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of dodder in a Sentence

Verb was doddering down the walk outside the nursing home
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Scott Ward Abernethy is obviously having a blast channeling Audrey’s sadistic-dentist boyfriend, as well as assorted cameo figures, and Robert John Biedermann dodders aptly as the shop’s cantankerous owner, Mr. Mushnik. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Despite exotic botany, Constellation’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is an old chestnut," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And, there is the looming presence of a doddering Winston Churchill. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Game Winner is back in winning form," 14 July 2019 Television may be a dinosaur in the Internet epoch, but a dinosaur is a very big thing, and television is a mighty if doddering T. rex. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Among the Chimps," 28 July 2019 Her old coot of a husband doddered over to see what the trouble was. George Saunders, The New Yorker, "Little St. Don," 19 Feb. 2016 The good news is that doddering Frank and meek little Mary come to life when needed most. David Coddon,, "'How the Other Half Loves' ingenious and fab at North Coast Rep," 15 Apr. 2018 Wednesday’s rate cut comes as both inflation and economic growth remain lower than policy makers would like as Brazil dodders out of its longest recession on record. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "Brazil’s Central Bank Cuts Benchmark Rate to Record Low 7%," 6 Dec. 2017 Michael Dale Brown’s doddering yet bombastic Henry is ever the grand master thespian steeped in Shakespeare and the classics, spewing flowery speech. Eric Marchese, Orange County Register, "Small-scale revival highlights timeless nature of ‘Fantasticks’ in Costa Mesa," 11 Apr. 2017 Cathleen Fuller provides yeoman service with her handful of lines in the role of Evelyn, Esme’s mother-in-law, who is gripey and suspicious in the first scene, doddering in the second, and comatose in a wheelchair for the entirety of the third. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Review: ‘Amy’s View’ slings social commentary but staging is uneven," 22 May 2017 Pribyl, as a sadistic ex-military officer who furiously beats his servant and heaps abuse on a doddering older relative (Kipp Moorman), all with a maniacal glee and a glint in his eye that’s already gone around the bend toward crazy. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Players Theatre turns to farce with 'A Flea in Her Ear'," 1 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dodder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dodder


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dodder


Middle English doder; akin to Middle High German toter dodder, egg yolk


Middle English dadiren

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Time Traveler for dodder

Time Traveler

The first known use of dodder was in the 13th century

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Statistics for dodder

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dodder.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dodder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dodder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dodder Encyclopedia article about dodder

Comments on dodder

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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